High rise building - WHICH HEATING SYSTEM IS BEST FOR HIGH-RISE CONDOS? YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWEREDIf you own or operate a high-rise condo, one of the most important factors in your business’s success is a reliable, responsive heating and air conditioning system. You want the tenants in your high-rise condo to feel comfortable and happy. It means they’re more likely to stay over the long term, and good tenants are hard to find! Here’s how you can determine which heating system is best for your high-rise condo building.

HVAC Systems for Buildings with 6+ Floors

If your high-rise condo has 6 or more floors, you will probably use a centralized HVAC system. This includes a single mechanical room in the building to house all large heating and air conditioning components.

These systems tend to be very complex to install, repair and maintain because they have to deliver customizable heating and cooling control to each zone in the building.

Fortunately, we train a handful of technicians specifically on large-scale design and installation for condos and similar buildings. This includes regular certification on the two primary condo heating and cooling systems:

1. Water-Source Heat Pump

This is one of the more popular systems for buildings of this size. It is also called a two-pipe system because it uses two high-volume pipes circulating condenser water to heat pumps in each of the zones (individual units, hallways and common areas). This system features a lower up-front cost and a great deal of flexibility.

2. Four-Pipe Vertical Stack

This is a fan coil system using two pairs of water lines; one pair for hot water and the other pair for cold. Residents tend to experience a great deal of comfort with this option because they can switch between heating and cooling very easily, and the system responds rapidly, even for units located on the top floor.


HVAC Systems for Buildings with 6 or Fewer Floors

We often recommend a decentralized system for smaller buildings.

Two options are most suitable in this setting:

1. Single-Unit Ductless Systems.

Ductless HVAC units include an outdoor component, an indoor component and a small cable connecting the two. These preserve space by mounting out of the way, and they heat and cool very efficiently.

2. Single-Unit Window-based Systems.

With window-based systems, each rental is outfitted with a heating and cooling window unit. You often see these types of systems in small hotels or motels. One great advantage of this system is that the owner can obtain exact power usage from each of the tenants. But a drawback is that these systems have a shorter lifespan and can result in more calls for repair service.

Centralized vs Decentralized Commercial HVAC Systems

The long and short of it:

  • If your building is 6+ floors, a centralized basement system is your best bet. 
  • If your building is less than 6 floors, individual units might be more financially viable.

Not all buildings fall into the 6-floor rule, so it’s best to have a professional assess your building before making any investments in heating and cooling upgrades.

3 Things to Consider Before Installing a New High-Rise HVAC System

Here are a couple of the things that you may want to think about before you buy your new HVAC system. As always, it is probably a good idea to consult with a professional commercial HVAC contractor before you make any decisions.

1. Demand on the System

One of the first things that you want to do is figure out how much heating and cooling your building needs. This is a critical first step in making sure that your tenants get comfortable and efficient heating and cooling.

2. Efficiency of Your System

Another huge factor is how efficient your new system will be. This is likely going to be a terrific bonus for you when you replace your old HVAC system. New commercial HVAC units are typically much more energy efficient. This means that you’ll be able to reduce the amount of energy that gets used to heat and cool your highrise condo.

3. Commercial HVAC Maintenance

Finally, the last thing you may want to consider is how much upkeep and maintenance your new system will require. This is a huge consideration because while maintenance is a great way to keep your HVAC system in good working order, if the new equipment requires extensive maintenance and repairs, it could end up not being very cost-effective.

Work With a Certified Commercial HVAC Technician Today

At Advantage Airtech, we provide comprehensive HVAC services for commercial buildings and high-rise condos.

If you need any kind of help with the HVAC system in your residential buildings in Toronto, call our experts today!

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Updated 2023.

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